Book Review: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

Release Date: February 25, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed by: Madi B

To be honest, when I read the back of the book I wasn’t super excited. I was excited, but not super excited. This was mainly because it was sci-fi sounding. I’m not attracted to inter-galactic battles, alien captures, and the ka-pows of the guns. No thanks! But I really liked Tin Star. I liked Tula, I liked the storyline, and I even liked the setting. 

I’m a sucker for a strong female character. Anytime I read a book with a quiet, sensitive, sniffling, pushover that folds at the slightest bit of pressure I can be found repeatedly hitting my head against a wall.  All I’m thinking is “PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!!!” (If you did not realize I was quoting The Incredibles then get away from the monitor, and go watch it. Shame on you).

Tula is the queen of strong. If you thought Katniss was as tough as nails, then Tula was as tough as bricks, or solid steel or diamonds!!! (You get the point) IT WAS AWESOME! Brother Blue tried to kill her, didn’t work.  Don’t let the name fool you, Brother Blue’s just as nasty as a jealous teenage girl. And that wasn’t a spoiler, it’s in the summary.

Left on a remote space station with no hope, no problem. SHE’S A FREAKIN BEAST! (In teenager language that means AWESOME!) But sadly the romance didn’t kick in until a little bit later. And even then the romance was just a tad too realistic. I realize that most teen relationships deep down mean very little, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to read about relationships like that! (If you didn’t understand that last sentence just read the book) I really liked watching Tula’s character go from tough as diamonds to tough as steel. That’s right Kelli, you heard me! CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!!!!

So if you didn’t read that last paragraph, just know I really like Tula. The romance comes slow, like really slow. And even then she’s not in love with him!!! GAHHHHHH!!! I think it should have come a litttttttle faster.  And by a little I mean a lot. The plot felt a little cold and distant at the beginning, which may have been purposeful because that’s how Tula is feeling. (In that case, well-played). But that’s when I realized…the book needed romance. And I didn’t think the author really provided that until the very end, like the very very end.

Overall I liked Tin Star. The characters were awesome and even though the good stuff came a little later, I felt like it was worth the wait.


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